"Grannies' Deadly Reunion" started as a series of emails with an old junior high school friend. We sent a flurry back and forth recalling the old times at Thacker Junior High in Des Plaines, Illinois.
The crazy gym teacher, the girls' tank suits, smoking in the baseball dugouts on Friday nights before the dances at Rand Park.
And on and on. Since all these memories had gurgled to the present-day surface, it occurred to me that it probably wouldn't be too hard to wrap them into a plot line.
I had some time on my hands, so I gave it a try. What that book actually did was kick-start my imagination, allowing me to sit down, roll up my sleeves, and consider a book--or two--from a clean sheet of paper.